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India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting MoU Signed to Establish 'Emirati-Indian Cultural Council'

Sheikh Abdullah added that the ongoing dialogue between the two countries have yielded success in a broad range of areas, most notably the launch of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2017

India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting MoU Signed to Establish Emirati-Indian Cultural Council

Sentinel Digital Desk

ABU DHABI, Sept 2: Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, chaired the 14th edition of the UAE-India Joint Committee, which convened at the HQ of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) in Abu Dhabi. India's External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar led his country's delegation to the meeting on Thursday.

Addressing the committee's members, the UAE top diplomat said: "I would like to begin by extending a warm welcome to each of you. It is wonderful to see so many familiar faces in the room — it is my hope that the United Arab Emirates by now feels like a second home.

"I am very pleased to be here today to witness the convening of the UAE-India Joint Committee in its 14th session. I must start by emphasising my gratitude for the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India. We have benefited greatly from their wise guidance and stewardship as our strategic relations broaden and deepen."

Sheikh Abdullah added that the ongoing dialogue between the two countries have yielded success in a broad range of areas, most notably the launch of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2017, and the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2022.

"The growth of our economic relations brought about by CEPA has generated substantial opportunities in areas such as trade, investment, tourism, and aviation. Indeed, our respective economies have already begun to prosper under this agreement.

"India ranks as the top export partner to the UAE, second in terms of imports, and first in attracting foreign direct investments from the UAE. Additionally, air traffic between the two countries reached nearly 3.5 million passengers in 2021," he explained.

Sheikh Abdullah noted that the UAE is the second largest destination and source for Indian exports and imports, with a strong and growing position as a foreign direct investment source for India.

"The total trade between the two countries has reached an unprecedented level, climbing to almost $70 billion US in 2021. Indeed, our relationship is one of the most successful bilateral stories in the field of economic diplomacy.

"The success of our relationship has been augmented by the establishment of various multilateral cooperation initiatives. Our multilateral cooperation is an integral part of our strategy to advance Emirati-Indian relations, while enhancing our standing regionally and globally," he continued.

Sheikh Abdullah highlighted the successful collaboration within the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), as well as the cooperation between the two nations within the I2U2 grouping, as evidence of the existing and emerging opportunities the UAE and India have within international organisations and institutions.

"I also look forward to deeper cooperation with India via the intensification of the UAE's participation in the BRICS group, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the G20. We are eager to make meaningful contributions within these forums in a manner consistent with the UAE's standing in the international community," the Minister added.

He thanked India for its support for the UAE's candidacy for membership to the Council of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for the period 2023-2026.

"Furthermore, we value India's support for the UAE's re-nomination for membership in the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Group III for the period 2022-2025.

Addressing his Indian counterpart and his accompanying delegation, Sheikh Abdullah said" "Honourable Minister of External Affairs, Colleagues: As you will recall, upon the signing and implementation of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, we set an ambitious goal of raising the volume of our non-oil trade to $100 billion over the next five years.

"In order to reach this goal and achieve the ambitious economic vision put forth by both sides, I have personally been keen to elevate the role of the UAE Embassy in facilitating trade, and investment cooperation. I hope that our Embassy will become a model for our embassies and missions all over the world.

"As we continue discussing the opportunities, achievements and distinguished relationships that comprise the UAE-India relationship, it also behooves us to tackle the challenges that emerge as we grow closer."

In this regard, Sheikh Abdullah urged both sides to work together constructively: "We must not put off addressing outstanding issues, but instead, we must devise intuitive and innovative solutions to our challenges to ensure that they can be consigned to history as yet another record of our success."

He underscored the need to progress issues of double taxation exemptions, and aviation, noting that these two areas "constitute an axis for our continued trade, investment and tourism growth." (IANS)

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